Girlfriends in God - June 13, 2008

June 13, 2008
Daddy’s Little Girl
Laura Petherbridge

We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions.  We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends.  From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry.  We call them our "Friday Friends."  So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend", Laura Petherbridge. 

Today’s Truth
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” (Psalm 68:5 NIV).

Father’s Day hasn’t always been an enjoyable experience for me. My parents divorced when I was 8 years old. Before they separated, I was, “Daddy’s Little Girl,” but after the divorce, time with my father was limited. That, plus the addition of a new stepmother, changed everything.

Late in my 30’s an excellent Christian counselor helped me discover that I blamed myself for my parents divorce. Those wounds to my young soul formed a self-hatred and a distorted view of God. For more than ten years after I gave my heart to Christ, I didn’t really believe God loved me. This lie manifested into a continuous state of attempting to perform for Him. Three steps forward - two back. In my heart, I felt it was God’s job to love everyone. He saved my soul because that’s what God does for a living, but does he like me? No way. Why would he? What is there to like?” 

Fortunately, my Heavenly Father loves me too much to leave me wallowing in lies. He exposed the villain that stood between us--fear. Fear of trusting, fear of abandonment, and fear of rejection were the gatekeepers holding me from his lavish love.  I had to decide. Would I abandon myself and leap into His embrace or would I settle for the frigid slap that performance offered? It all boiled down to trust. My soul knew this was the turning point in my voyage with God.

Through a long, painful process, God revealed that all he truly desired was for me to climb onto His lap, place my head against His chest, and listen to His heartbeat. He wanted me to know the comforting, steady rhythm that whispered, “I love you, Laura.” At last, I knew—I am loved. I don’t understand how or why. He knows every flaw and foolish choice I make, and yet He never leaves me. 

I love my earthly Father and we communicate on Father’s Day. Many of the gifts I have come from him. However, my greatest joy comes from my Heavenly Daddy. He assures my mind and soul that I truly am, “Daddy’s Little Girl.”

Let’s Pray
Lord, I don’t even know how to say “Thank You.” You have replaced the emptiness and shame in my life with the truth that I am loved. Your relentless love broke through my wall of fear, and taught me how to breathe in the abundant life Jesus promised. Help me demonstrate your mercy to those who feel unlovable, so they will know the true Daddy.  Your Grateful Daughter, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
What does Father’s Day mean to you? Is it a good day or does it stir painful memories?

Have you ever thought that your view of God may have been affected by the relationship with your earthly father? In what way?

If you have childhood wounds, what steps might be necessary to heal a distorted view of God?

More from the girls
Many of you have lost your earthly father and find the celebration of Father’s Day to be a very painful experience.  Celebrate the life of your earthly father.  Then take time to jump into your Heavenly Father’s lap, listen for his heartbeat and snuggle. He’s anxiously waiting.

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Originally published Friday, 13 June 2008.